Outdoor Explorer

On "Outdoor Explorer" from KSKA-Anchorage we invite you to step outside into Alaska. Follow us to a new trail or fishing hole, learn what to pack, when to go and most importantly, how to stay safe. Learn about life-long fitness and get inspired to go outside in the back country or on the bike trails. We’ll hear from the people who know the land best - outdoor guides, park rangers, coaches, authors, lodge owners, bush pilots, educators and you, the explorer. Listen Thursdays 2:00 – 3:00 pm on KSKA FM, streaming live at alaskapublic.org. We're looking for your show ideas! Please send your thoughts for upcoming shows to: cwohlforth@alaskapublic.org

Parents of three Anchorage Olympians join us in the studio. Some of them are headed to Sochi, where the winter games start Friday, so we pre-recorded the show. We’ve heard from athletes, but as a parent it is easier to identify more with the parents: with their pride, and trepidation, and with knowledge of the sacrifices made for a young person to succeed at the highest level. We'll learn how parents produce an Olympian, and how it feels, good and bad, once you have one in the family. KSKA: Thursday 2/6 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

What goes on inside those tents you see on the frozen lakes around town? On the next Outdoor Explorer,we’ll find out. The topic is ice fishing. Folks do it on stocked lakes all through the city--that’s another unique thing about Anchorage--and in the backcountry they catch great big fish through the ice. We’ll find out how to do it and why. What’s the attraction of fishing in the middle of winter when the water is frozen? KSKA: Thursday 1/30 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

The summer season for sleeping outdoors is short, but there’s still a lot of Alaska out there in the winter with wonderful backcountry recreation and easy travel on snowshoes, when the rivers are frozen and it almost never rains. We’ll be talking about winter camping and snowshoeing. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. You can be comfortable, have great access to the backcountry, and sleep under the most amazing dome of stars. KSKA: Thursday 1/23 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Here’s an Alaska moment. It’s a weekend afternoon, you’ve been stuck indoors all day, you see that beautiful winter light in the sky, and you say, ‘let’s go skating.’ Half an hour later, you’re gliding over a frozen pond with your neighbors, getting rosy cheeks, and looking forward to hot chocolate. We're talking about ice skating, the casual community kind, where everyone can participate and enjoy a winter day with friends. KSKA: Thursday 1/16 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Tour of Anchorage 2013 from ATMI on Vimeo.

You don't have to be an Olympian to participate in a Nordic ski race. Anchorage has races for the rest of us, where fast skiers can duel at the front while older and less competitive skiers push their personal limits. The Tour of Anchorage is the biggest race of the year, with up to 2,000 contestants covering up to 50 kilometers, but local volunteers organize many other cross-country ski races during the winter that are open to anyone willing to try. KSKA: Thursday 1/9 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

They say the most important piece of safety equipment outdoors is your brain, and that is particularly true with staying alive in avalanche country. We'll address the most dangerous backcountry hazard with an avalanche prediction expert and an educator who specializes in tuning up that safety gear inside your head. We’ll talk about how to recognize danger, how to prepare for winter travel in the backcountry, and when to stay home. KSKA: Thursday 12/12 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

For the next Outdoor Explorer we’re in Fairbanks for a kind of adventure that is uniquely arctic and Fairbanks hard-core: long range expeditions by snow machine. We'll be joined by UAF scientist Matthew Sturm, whose studies of snow led to a career of traveling the breadth of North America on snowmachines with a team of very tough motorheads. We’ll learn about those trips, and how to prepare for motorized travel in some of the most remote spots on the globe. KSKA: Thursday 12/55 and 2:00 and 9:00 pm. Listen Now

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about public use cabins. Why now? Well, they’re open in the winter, and perfect for a ski or snowshoeing weekend. Perhaps more importantly, the season for reserving cabins for summer will soon be upon us. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your cabin trips for 2014. We learn about remote cabins you can rent, how to do it, and personal favorites across the region.

Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday 11/21 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm

They’re some of our most inspiring Alaskans, the outdoor athletes who remain active and even competitive in their 70's and 80's. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking to elder athletes, finding out what keeps them going, and what advice they have to the rest of us to be where they are when we hit that age. It’s a community inspired show, with guests pulled from listener nominations. KSKA: Thursday, 11/14 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

The Crow Pass trail leads from the Girdwood Valley to Eagle River. It’s a great backpacking route, and also a historic portion of the Iditarod Trail that led from Seward to mines in the Interior. What you might not know is that the trail was rebuilt in the 1970s with girl scout labor.We’ll learn about the Crow Pass trail in history and meet a former girl scout who helped remake the trail 40 years ago. KSKA: Thursday 11/7 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Starting in Washington, going over the Chilkoot Pass, down the Yukon, through the Bering Sea, up river to Lake Iliamna, finally ending up in Anchorage's Westchester Lagoon, Bob Vollhaber paddled a canoe five thousand miles in five months. He’d never done anything like the before. On the next Outdoor Explorer, listen to an interview with Bob recorded on September 17th, just days after he completed the extraordinary journey. KSKA: Thursday 10/24 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

For outdoor families, it can be tough when children leave elementary school and suddenly don’t want to go outside anymore. There are plenty of exceptions, but middle school coaches and parents of tweens know that this is a critical age to keep young people going outside and active. We’ll be talking with parents and educators about how the outdoors can compete with the screen or the couch in the lives of tweens as we struggle to help them build independent lives that are healthy and active. KSKA: Thursday 10/17 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Trap shooting is a sport at which Alaskans excel, having produced a national champion and Olympian in Cory Cogdell, formerly of Eagle River, and other top competitors. On today's show we learn about the community of trap shooters in Anchorage, how shooters learn to hit the fast-moving targets, and what it takes to get into the sport. Watch Video KSKA: Thursday 9/26 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

This is a great time of year to be canoeing on the Swan Lake Canoe Route, when the leaves are turning and the fish are active in the cool weather, in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll also be talking about floating the easy Swanson River, which may be the best float for beginners in our region and great for families. This is a show about one of the best areas to take your first self-guided wilderness trip. KSKA: Thursday 9/19 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

It’s a fair bet that the stampeders who flowed north during the Klondike Gold Rush never thought of mining as recreational, but the hunt for gold is something people do for fun, as well as profit. We’ll find out how and why modern recreational miners persist in sifting Alaska’s streams with pans and other obsolete equipment, going after glittering flakes of gold, and hoping for something much richer. It's a hobby that gets them outdoors, and it's a treasure hunt. KSKA: Thursday 9/5 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service Duck hunting season begins September 1, a day that kicks off an outdoor tradition like no other. We’ll have guests who are getting ready for opening day with all the trappings of the sport, talk about hunting memories and traditions, and touch on conservation issues and changes in the land and the sport. KSKA: Thursday 8/29 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

 IMG_3463

The feel of the air at night has changed. Fall is coming. Time for berry picking. It’s been a great year for berries across Alaska, and on today's show, we will talk in detail about where, how, and what to pick, and how to handle your harvest with experts on the art, science, health and culinary details of berries, and share the warm feeling of this wonderful family tradition. KSKA: Thursday, 8/22 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

A cabin off the grid is a private place in the wilderness where the noisy world is far away and the soul of Alaska close at hand. On the next Outdoor Explorer, our host comes to you from his own off-the-grid cabin on Kachemak Bay. Guest Donna Massay will join us from the Trapper Creek area. And we’ll learn about the power, water and communication technology that makes off the grid life easier to do these days. KSKA: Thursday 8/15, at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

During the 2012 Mount Marathon race, two runners were terribly injured and one disappeared, never to be found. Organizers hope this year’s race is safer, without losing its adventurous edge. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about the new rules, and about the joy of mountain running and competition with two of the best in Alaska, plus a race organizer. Also new for this week's show, host Charles Wohlforth is in Homer, at KBBI. KSKA: Thursday 6/27 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

A huge proportion of Alaska is covered with ice. A lot more than has towns and cities or anything man made on it. That’s a lot of country to explore, and its truly beautiful, like another world. On the next Outdoor Explorer the topic is glacier travel. We’ll be talking with a guide who takes newbies on glacier treks, a photographer who specializes in glacier journeys, and a glaciologist who goes to work on glaciers, and knows how they’re made. KSKA: Thursday 6/20 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now